close
Monday June 17, 2024

PPDA rejects plan to sell diesel through DDTs

Hassan Shah said dealers make a profit of a few rupees on the sale of a litre of diesel, while the smuggled oil sellers make a profit of Rs70 to Rs80 per litre

By Khalid Mustafa
June 05, 2024
Employees at a fuel station attend to their customers in Islamabad, Pakistan. — AFP/File
Employees at a fuel station attend to their customers in Islamabad, Pakistan. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) Tuesday opposed the plan to sell diesel on roads through Doorstep Delivery Tankers (DDTs), terming it against the national interests.

The PPDA said the decision would further increase smuggling and cause billions in revenue loss to the government. It would also endanger the lives and property of people while sinking billions of dollars invested by oil and gas companies and their dealers, it added.

At a meeting of petroleum dealers, Hassan Shah, a member of Central Executive Committee of PPDA, warned such a move would result in loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and the bankruptcy of thousands of businesses.

He said dealers make a profit of a few rupees on the sale of a litre of diesel, while the smuggled oil sellers make a profit of Rs70 to Rs80 per litre.

He said most petrol pump owners cannot sell smuggled oil because doing so would pose risks to their investment of Rs300 million to Rs400 million. However, it would be easier for smugglers to sell fuel through benami tankers, he noted.

He said the decision would facilitate smugglers and the mafia under the pretext of providing convenience to the people. He questioned the decision’s rationale, given the widespread presence of petrol pumps across the country and its lack of practice globally.

He said the government should refrain from implementing this project, warning it after Shell, other companies will also leave the country, affecting Pakistan’s image.

According to Hassan Shah, legalisation of smuggled diesel will shrink the size of documented economy and increase the size of black economy.

Smugglers are already installing nozzles on tankers similar to those at the filling stations to discharge fuel which would raise concerns about public safety, he underlined.

He said when smuggled Iranian oil available at their doorstep, consumers will never purchase pricey fuel. “Selling fuel on the roads via tankers will become most profitable business in Pakistan at the expense of energy companies and dealers”, he observed. He maintained smugglers will recover their entire investment on tankers within a few days due to “unbelievable” profits.

Hasan Shah said PPDA has met Chairman OGRA, DG of Explosives Department, and sent letters to Ministry of Petroleum to inform them about their concerns.

He said the project’s rapid progress raises concerns and suggests mafia’s influence. An influential petroleum company involved in the large-scale smuggling is lobbying hard to achieve the goal, he alleged.

He said petroleum dealers would not allow anyone to play with the future of the nation to benefit a few influential people. “It is obvious after sale of diesel on roads, the sale of petrol and gas will also be allowed”, he feared.